Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Health Canada warns of safety hazards with several uncertified USB chargers

As part of a planned national sampling and compliance project, Health Canada tested a number of uncertified USB chargers. The products at this link were found to pose an unacceptable risk of electric shock and fire and are being recalled.  Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the products listed and either return them to the retailer where they were purchased or dispose of them.

RCMP Livestock Section investigates theft of 12 mares

RCMP Alberta - The RCMP Southern Alberta Livestock investigators and Tsuu Tina Police are asking for information from the public to assist with an investigation into 12 stolen mares.  The horses were last known to be grazing in the Tsuu Tina Nation in October 2016 and all are owned by one person. Investigators are not certain at this point when the mares were taken, if the animals were taken at once or in a series of smaller thefts.

Diverse coalition of Albertans praises draft land use plans

Porcupine Hills Coalition - Drafts of two new land-use plans, released March 27 by the Government of Alberta, are being welcomed by a wide variety of stakeholders, from ranchers to recreationalists to conservation organizations. The plans stem from the 2014 South Saskatchewan Regional Plan which committed to the development of a Land Footprint Management Plan (LFMP) and Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone regions. The region is located an hour and a half south of Calgary, along Highway 22, also known as the Cowboy Trail, and is considered some of the most iconic landscapes in southern Alberta.

MD of Pincher Creek CAO retires

On March 2, 2018 council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 released a statement via their website that "due to the temporary absence of Wendy Kay, CAO, Council hereby appoints Roland Milligan, Director of Development and Community Services, as the Interim CAO effective March 1, 2018 (resolution 18/098)."  Today the MD released a brief statement that "Ms. Wendy Kay has announced her retirement from her position as Chief Administrative Officer as of March 28, 2018.  The MD wishes to extend its  appreciation to Ms. Kay for her years of service, and wishes Ms. Kay the best in her future endeavors."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Alberta government asks for public feedback about Livingstone-Porcupine Hills management plans

The Porcupine Hills (Alberta Wilderness Association photo)

Chris Davis - Today (March 27) the Alberta Government released draft plans for managing the impacts of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on public land in the Livingstone-Porcupine Hills region of southwestern Alberta, which is part of Alberta’s eastern slopes and includes the Porcupine Hills, Crowsnest Pass, the Whaleback, and the Upper Oldman River. The area is identified in the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) as a priority for Land Footprint and Recreation Management planning. Public input is invited.

Extreme wind travel advisory

Update: Highway 22 has reopened to travel north of Highway 3. Winds remain at a speed that can impact holiday trailers and semis, particularly those with empty trailers. Drivers of these vehicles are encouraged to delay travel until winds have further reduced.

New impaired driving laws come into effect on April 9, 2018

Government of Alberta - Last fall, the Government of Alberta passed An Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol-Impaired Driving. As part of this bill, new impaired driving laws will come into effect on April 9, 2018.

On April 9, the following new impaired driving laws will come into effect in Alberta:
  • All criminally impaired drivers (drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over, drivers impaired by drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, and drivers who fail or refuse to comply with a demand for a breath or blood sample) will receive a 90-day licence suspension followed by mandatory participation in a one-year ignition interlock program. Should the driver choose not to participate in ignition interlock, the licence suspension will remain in place during this one-year term.
  • These are provincial sanctions. Drivers will continue to be subject to criminal charges and all the associated penalties imposed by the courts, in addition to the provincial consequences.
  • There will be zero tolerance for Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program drivers for cannabis and illegal drugs in the bloodstream, in addition to alcohol. GDL drivers found with any amount of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or their combination will find the driver subject to a 30-day licence suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program. (GDL drivers who meet the requirements for criminal-level impaired driving will be subject to the sanctions and penalties mentioned above.)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pincher Creek Council assessing northeast recreational facilities complex

Jonathan Skrimshire -
Pincher Creek Town Council has authorized the expenditure of up to $15,000 to develop a site plan for a potential new recreational facilities complex at their meeting of March 26. The plan will present siting options for a curling rink, skating rink, field house, football field, two soccer fields, and required streets and parking areas, on land east of the Walmart Supercentre. The Town is currently in the final stages of negotiating the purchase of the parcel designated Lot 1, Block 6, Plan 0512720, which would provide adequate land to support the phased development of the proposed facilities. No firm timeline for delivery of the plan or presentation to the public is available at this time.

Related articles:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Easter shows the true measure of God’s love

Joyce Sasse - For Christians, Easter marks the climax of a journey of human struggle that began in Genesis.

The basic nature of human beings, according to the sages, was to want it all – a world of abundance and knowledge extensive enough so we could become our own gods.

Friday, March 23, 2018

31 kg of suspected cocaine seized at Carway border crossing

  The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced today a significant suspected narcotics seizure and arrest at the Carway, Alberta border crossing.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Deepening our understanding of Lent

Joyce Sasse - As I learn more about the practices associated with Ramadan, which marks the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, I think more deeply about how I approach Lent.

During the month of Ramadan, which will occur May 15 to June 14, 2018, a practicing Muslim is expected to fast from sunrise to sunset (i.e. to give up food). In the book “The Faith Club”, one man speaks about how this affects his life. “We exercise discipline and attempt to cleanse mind, body and soul of vices and bad thoughts.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cardston RCMP and Blood Tribe Police charge two for possession of Fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking

RCMP Alberta - Members of the Cardston RCMP and Blood Tribe Police Service Crime Reduction Unit seized suspected fentanyl pills from a residence in the town of Cardston on March 8, 2018.

As a result of the joint investigation between RCMP and Blood Tribe Police, two persons, Chantelle Cecilia Daychief (age 44) and Allan Blake Tail Feathers (age 41) have both been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking under section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Lethbridge travel delays for bridge rehabilitation

Government of Alberta - The bridge on Highway 3 over the Oldman River in Lethbridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction for rehabilitation work. Motorists can expect delays.  Drivers will be restricted to the westbound lanes, one in each direction from the end of March to the end of July. The speed limit will be reduced to 50 kilometres per hour, and there will be a lane- width restriction of 3.7 metres for large truck traffic.

There will be no pedestrian access to the bridge during the project.

There may be periodic traffic delays on Coal Banks Trail and parking restrictions in the area as work is underway.

Check 511 for regular updates.

Freezing rain and snow affecting southwest Alberta

@511 camera of Highway 3 at Cowley as the snow starts to fall
Cochrane RCMP -  Currently the roads in and around Cochrane are in poor winter driving condition. The highway 1A in Cochrane, specifically the Cochrane hill is very slippery. The roads are all open at this time, however it is slow going on the main routes. The RCMP are reminding motorists to slow down and drive for the conditions. As well, they are asking that motorist please give room to the road maintenance crews as they try and make our roads easier to navigate.

Government of Alberta - An incoming weather system expected later today, forecasting up to 20 centimetres of snow, could result in poor driving conditions and low visibility across much of the southern and western regions of Alberta. Drivers are reminded to prepare for winter conditions, including reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces, and adjust their driving habits accordingly. Consider postponing any unnecessary travel.

Additional information
  • Know before you go – check 511 Alberta for the latest real time road conditions.
  • Drivers should consider postponing non-essential travel.
  • Posted speed limits are the maximum intended for ideal summer conditions. Drivers are reminded to slow down and drive for winter conditions.
  • Snow can accumulate quickly and visibility will be reduced.
  • Drivers are encouraged to have winter or all-weather tires on their vehicles.
  • Drivers are reminded to activate headlights so that tail lights are visible to other drivers following behind.
  • All vehicles should have a winter emergency kit during the winter months.
  • Please give snowplows room to work – stay back at least 10 metres to prevent collisions.Drivers are reminded to prepare for winter conditions, including reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces, and adjust their driving habits accordingly. Consider postponing any unnecessary travel.
  • Environment Canada
  • Safer Winter Highways
  • Winter driving tips (PDF)
  • Alberta Snowplows
  • Road Reports

For up-to-date road information and traffic delays
Call: 511 toll-free inside Alberta
Call: 1-855-391-9743 outside of Alberta
Follow: @511Alberta

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

U of L neuroscientists awarded nearly $2 million for research into Alzheimer’s disease

University of Lethbridge - Drs. Bruce McNaughton and Majid Mohajerani will investigate brain neurobiology related to Alzheimer’s disease thanks to two grants worth nearly $2 million over five years from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

Driver facing child intervention charge after impaired investigation

RCMP Alberta - An Athabasca woman is now facing charges of impaired driving, and causing children to be in need of intervention after a traffic stop in the busy hamlet of Grassland Sunday.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pincher Creek's Town Council approves funding for Grant Writer Initiative

Jonathan Skrimshire (updated with more complete information * - Pincher Creek Town Council approved $20,000 in first year funding for the Grant Writer Initiative at their meeting of March 7. The initiative, which will result in the creation of a full time position for a professional grant writer in Pincher Creek, is the brainchild and first project of the newly christened Pincher Creek Community Development Initiative (PCCDI). With commitments of $15,000 from community organizations, $20,000 from the Municipal District Council and $20,500 from Shell already in hand, Town Council's $20,000 contribution means PCCDI now has 89 percent of the project's first year funding requirements in place.*  Both councils have recommended that PCCDI make application to the Joint Council funding program for years two and three of the initiative.

Full of laughter, full of light


Joyce Sasse -
 With a harsh winter like South Alberta has experienced, memories of weather related aspects of my work with the Saddle Bag ministry come back to mind.

This experimental ministry project was defined by church folk who well understood rural Saskatchewan. They determined that January and February be the time when church activities close down. Wise planning: the weather was severe, roads were impassable and “snowbirds” went south. So, the minister took holiday and study-break time.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Curling Club president addresses Pincher Creek Town Council

Jonathan Skrimshire - Armed with a thick sheaf of letters of support from downtown businesses, Curling Club President Jessie Nelson appeared before Pincher Creek Council March 7 to present figures on membership and usage of the existing curling rink and to argue for the retention of the facility in the town's central core.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Overdose prevention site opens at Stand Off

Government of Alberta - The province is working with a harm-reduction agency in Lethbridge to provide lifesaving medical supervision on Kainai First Nation. The Alberta Health Services' ATCO trailer has been set up in Stand Off, Alberta to provide lifesaving medical supervision to help prevent opioid overdoses. The initiative will help the community respond to a spike in opioid overdoses.

Bragg Creek senior attacked with sword

RCMP Alberta - An elderly female was taken to hospital following a serious assault at a residence in Bragg Creek, AB earlier today. Police attended the residence at approximately 12:45 am after reports that the victim had been attacked with a sword by another occupant of the house. The victim was taken to an area hospital where she remains in serious condition. The 19 year old male suspect in this case was known to the victim and has been taken into custody. There are presently no concerns for public safety. Investigation into this matter is in the preliminary stages and will continue throughout the day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pincher Creek Town Council approves Pride ceremony and flag raising

Jonathan Skrimshire - Pincher Creek Town Council has approved Pincher Creek Pride's proposal for a ceremony and flag raising in recognition of the victims of homophobic violence. The event is tentatively scheduled to take place June 12 on the Multi-Purpose Facility grounds. Following the ceremony, the Pride flag will fly on the site for a period of one week.

MD of Pincher Creek appoints interim CAO

On March 2, 2018 council for the M.D. of Pincher Creek No. 9 released a statement via their website that "due to the temporary absence of Wendy Kay, CAO, Council hereby appoints Roland Milligan, Director of Development and Community Services, as the Interim CAO effective March 1, 2018 (resolution 18/098)."

Threats to “Shoot a Public Place” in Calgary or Cochrane

RCMP Alberta - Currently the Cochrane RCMP and the Calgary Police Service are investigating a report of threats via Facebook, where someone wants to “shoot a public place.” At this time there is no direct threat to any one location in Cochrane. This investigation is rapidly unfolding and the RCMP are requesting patience while they conduct their investigation.

RCMP seize 1.25kg of suspected cocaine during traffic stop

RCMP Alberta - As a result of pro-active police enforcement, RCMP have removed a large amount of suspected cocaine from the streets following a traffic stop on Highway 16.  On March 2, 2018 Police conducted a traffic stop with a vehicle on Highway 16 near the Town of Edson, Alberta. As a result of the traffic stop, the officer entered in to a drug investigation which resulted in 1.25 kilograms of suspected cocaine, a small amount of cannabis marihuana, and a large sum of Canadian currency being seized from the vehicle.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Loaded handgun seized From Lethbridge drug house

Three people were arrested and a loaded handgun was seized from a Lethbridge home that has caused neighbourhood concerns about drug activity.

ALERT’s Lethbridge organized crime and gang team searched the home on February 26, 2018, with help from the Lethbridge Police Service. Located in the 400-block of 20 Street North, the home is less than a block away from an elementary school, and first came to police attention in December 2017 for suspected drug dealing.

Officer-involved shooting in Strathcona County

Strathcona County RCMP - Early this morning, Strathcona County RCMP received a call to assist Emergency Medical Services who responded to a report of a male with stab wounds. During the call for service, responding officers discharged their firearms. There is no danger to the public.  As a result, a 40-year-old male was transferred to hospital in stable condition.  There were no injuries to responding emergency personnel.

Change is a constant for the Church

Joyce Sasse - As with anything that is living, a living Church constantly changes. “Always ripe” Joan Chittister says, “but always in bloom again.”

The image of the bare-footed Moses in front of the flaming bush comes to mind, and the voice that identified itself with the words “I am” … Always being and always becoming.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Two men charged in relation to Blood Tribe Reserve homicide

RCMP Alberta - Following an investigation that began on February 23 into the death of a man on the Blood Indian Reserve the RCMP have charged two males with Second Degree Murder.

Arrested gang members suspected of trafficking in Lethbridge, Blood First Nation

An alleged member of the Mad Cowz gang has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in Lethbridge and the Blood First Nation Reserve.  ALERT Lethbridge’s organized crime and gang team arrested Corey Amyotte on February 28, 2018, along with four other suspects. The 33-year-old man from Manitoba is an alleged member of the Mad Cowz gang and information provided by Blood Tribe Police suggested he was involved in drug trafficking in the region.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Pincher Creek Pride proposes ceremony and flag raising

Jonathan Skrimshire - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek has received a request to participate in a short ceremony in recognition of the victims of homophobic violence. Andrew Glen McCutcheon, founder of Pincher Creek Pride, appeared before Council at their meeting of February 26 to present the group's proposal for "a small ceremony and the raising of a Pride flag outside Town Hall on June 12th".

Carfentanyl bust at Crossiron Mills Mall parking lot

RCMP Alberta - Airdrie RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) has seized suspected Carfentanil and Methamphetamine after conducting a traffic stop in the parking lot at Crossiron Mills Mall.

University of Lethbridge and University of Calgary researchers collaborate to tackle hepatitis B virus

University of Lethbridge - For Lethbridge residents suffering from the effects of chronic HBV and its resulting health problems, treatment options in Lethbridge do not exist, sending most patients to the Calgary Liver Unit. On Thursday, Mar. 8, Calgary Liver Unit Medical Director Dr. Carla Coffin will present her work at the University of Lethbridge as part of the U of L’s Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI) Speaker Series.

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